A female Lesser Wanderer butterfly was caught

This topic contains 192 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  clinton9 4 years, 8 months ago.

  • Creator
    Topic
  • #15108

    clinton9
    Participant

    Today,

    I caught the female Lesser Wanderer butterfly in wasteland near Thames Refuse Transfer Station this afternoon.

    This late morning I were hunting for aussie butterflies and I went to retirement building by Richmond Rd and looked for butterflies, but no aussie butterflies.

    Then I went to wasteland by Refuse Transfer Station and looked for aussie butterflies, but I saw a red admiral butterfly and I went after it so I can get it to lay eggs on my potted nettle, but I lost it as it flew away north-westward toward sea. Then I biked eastward and when I stopped biking by a bench, to check for Aussie butterflies and suddenly I saw a Lesser Wanderer butterfly flying from dump, then I went after it, and swinged my $ 2 net at it…missed…it flew fast for 11 metres…then it dropped onto a long dead grass stalk…I swinged the net across the grass & caught the Lesser Wanderer butterfly.

    When I handled it carefully, I found tip of hind body were damaged…#@@# how little careless I were, as I was hoped to send eggs to Zac (nzwings), but only if butterfly is willing to lay eggs. Otherwise Zac have to accept a gift from me in form of a damaged butterfly. If it won’t lay eggs in few days time, I have to kill it and send the butterfly to Zac.

    The Lesser Wanderer butterfly is alive and in my smaller caterpillar castle with orange-flowered milkweed (swan plant).

Viewing 25 replies - 51 through 75 (of 192 total)
  • Author
    Replies
  • #30446

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Thanks Terry and Jacqui, busy is about to get busier if I am to get them through the winter.
    Charlotte the 2 males and 1 female is probably a good ratio and with warm temperatures and perhaps the light on for a few hours extra during late afternoon may may just do the trick, don’t give up hope.
    Bernie I am hovering between putting an oil filled column heater and lighting out in the butterfly house, which is a cost to decide, or to use a large existing cotton muslin covered cage that I reared the first generation larvae in when they were small. If I covered it with two layers of plastic bubble wrap for insulation and a cover built over the top containing a light globe for light and heat, that may be sufficient. If it needs more heat I have got a plant propagating heating pad that I can place in the bottom also, but it is only the night temperatures that need boosting.
    Zac did you observe any pairings with your adults, or any infertile eggs ? The larva that came from the garden centre did not reach pupation unfortunately.

    #30444

    Zac
    Participant

    hey norm, how is it going with that larvae you found at the garden center? i almost forgot about this option to hopefully introduce a possible new bloodline.
    in latest news, im off to Australia in September to observe and catch the richmond birdwing butterfly. i have a pair in my collection, but to actually see them in their natural habitat would be a great experience. a bit like when i went to Brazil last year, i had butterflies coming out of my ears there

    #30443

    Bernie
    Participant

    that’s great news Norm.I hope you can keep them going through your winter too!What ideas do you have for heating and lighting?

    #30442

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Way to go Norm!
    We still have the 2 males and 1 female still alive and doing ok so far.
    An older couple with in our group has the butterflies and are enjoying keeping them warm and safe.
    You never know they might just crack it;-)

    #30441

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Fantastic, Norm, that’s excellent news. Keeping you busy! 🙂

    #30439

    Terry
    Participant

    Well done Norm!

    What a brilliant achievement! With the shortest day due in 17 days time; with some luck you really could get them right through the NZ winter.

    #30438

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Six days ago I went into the butterfly house and found two Lesser Wanderers had paired, so I grabbed the marker pen to mark the female but it was dry, so I raced into the house to get another pen but when I arrived back they had parted, so I had no indication of which was the female, or whether they had remained together long enough for the male to do his job. A couple of females had been laying eggs occasionally but these proved to be infertile, so I was still in the dark. Since then the female that I had handpaired with a small monarch has been laying eggs and another female was laying regularly each day which was a good sign. It has been very time consuming as all the adults are put in a castle each night when the temperatures start dropping and taken inside for the night, and released again in the morning when the butterfly house reaches 20 degrees. The potted plants which have eggs on are also taken in each night and put in the hot water cupboard to keep warm as the eggs and larvae are more susceptible to the cold than the adults. Imagine my excitement this morning when I took the tray out of the hot water cupboard and noticed a small caterpillar had hatched, with two more following during the day and a couple more colouring, indicating some more tomorrow. So the third generation is away which will be more challenging than the the previous with the peak of winter yet to come, but I am making a container fitted up with heating and lighting to raise them in so there is no sitting back just yet.

    #30437

    Anna
    Participant

    It may sound like overkill…but I wonder if some sort of heatlamp might provide a bit of warmth as well as extended light as they might need that to encourage them to breed?

    #30402

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    Not much luck this end either Zac. I have tried handpairing and the males either don’t want to or aren’t able to grip the female with their claspers. Six days ago I had a very small monarch emerge, the size of a Lesser Wanderer, and tried handpairing. Within about 30 seconds the monarch had clasped onto the female L.W. and remained paired for a couple of hours. However the female, which was marked on the wings, has not oviposited yet so that may have been unsuccessful. Some eggs are being laid by females not observed to have mated and these are infertile as after about 10 days they have collapsed. So while ovipositing is still going on, which indicates its still not too late in the season, it seems the pairing has come to a stand still despite temps of 25 – 30 degrees in the butterfly house during the day. Maybe it is the end of the line, but while I still have females I will keep trying.

    #30400

    Zac
    Participant

    hi Charlotte,

    i had 1 female start to deposit eggs, but i fear these are just infertile eggs. i had not witnessed any pairings, and im sure i would have seen something happen being around to keep my eye out, i only have 2 females and 1 male left. i feel personally its just far too cold during winter even with 30* heat due to our fire, they still don’t want to be active. add that the limit of sunlight hours and nothing seems to be that positive. my guess is our only option is norm getting his through the winter which will be a very hard process as i talked to him recently and they seem to not even want to do the business even in his warm butterfly house.

    #30376

    Charlotte
    Participant

    nzwings how are you going with your Lesser Wanderers?

    It looks like our eggs were not viable;-( and I only have 1 female left and 3 males. They are showing no signs of even wanting to pair up.
    I tried a wild Monarch in the cage with the girl and even they are not interested. As I thought with them still pairing up outside and laying eggs we may have a chance..

    Perhaps I could try a wild female Monarch with the male Lesser Wanderer. Any ideas anyone??

    #30320

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Sad to hear Clinton;-(
    I only ended up with 8 butterflies in the end out of the 20 caterpillars Norm sent me. I lost 3 during change into a chrysalis and the rest as caterpillars. Mostly not shedding their skin properly.
    We ended up with 5 males and 3 females.

    nzwings you’re lucky to have a fireplace. We don’t have a fireplace or heat pump. Only use a gas heater and we cant use this with the butterflies and caterpillars.
    We may have to figure out a way to keep the house warmer;-)

    We’ve ordered a thermometer that measures min and max temps inside so this is going to give us a good indication how to correct things.

    Now we wait to see if the eggs hatch…

    #30319

    Zac
    Participant

    my first of 8 lesser wanderer pupae hatched today, nice large healthy female. i have more that are darkening up and i keep the temperature around 25-30*, my house is very warm even without a fire going, but with winter coming on the fire will need to be used quite often. i keep a thermometer near to make sure the tempt doesnt go any higher or lower. its a good thing im pretty much home 24-7 to look after them since most of my work is done from home. i have had 4 larvae survive, and i too originally started with 22 larvae, i realized not known to me that the eco mister in our home had depleted most of them. once i fixed the problem i got the 8 pupae sent to me by norm and things are on track now. 2 of my larvae are nearing pupation, one has already climbed up the wall of the castle and looks like i may have more success out of the larvae problem after all. although they can handle it a little cold, i notice even with my newly hatched female today she wasnt as movable until i turned up the heat a little more.

    #30318

    Jacqui
    Moderator

    Mine too, Clinton. 🙁 I was really gutted.

    #30317

    clinton9
    Participant

    For me, all of my Lesser Wanderer butterfly caterpillars died as half-grown larvaes.
    I were pluzzled about why my LW larvaes had not surivied as my swan plants were not sprayed and been growing organically.
    Monarch butterfly caterpillars fed on same swan plants that Lesser Wanderer butterfly caterpillars ate, were healthy and grown to maturily and pupaed, then two Monarch butterflies hatched and I released one female 2 days ago.

    #30316

    Charlotte
    Participant

    It is official we have Lesser wanderer eggs being laid;-))
    Now to get these eggs/caterpillars through to chrysalis/butterflies..

    #30313

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Well we may have succeeded. As the plant we placed in the castle had no eggs, and now it has around 20 eggs on it;-))
    We have placed a fresh plant in to see if the girl/girls are laying.
    I hope so!

    #30297

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Thanks Norm. I think I will just keep picking the flowers from the garden and giving them the artificial nectar.
    I will go and buy a thermometer today.
    What about putting a heat pad in the bottom of the castle?(covered of course)
    As we don’t have nets up at the ranch sliders, Norm should we put some up? as I have heard if you have no netted curtains up all the heat goes out through the glass. I draw the thermal curtains each evening (winter only) to keep us and the butterflies warm;-)

    #30296

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    A word of caution Charlotte. Several years ago I bought a profusely flowering Hebe cultivar as a nectar shrub and placed it in the butterfly house for the yellow admirals. Next day I went in and found 7 out of the 10 butterflies dead on the floor. The addition of the hebe was the only change in the b/house and the butterflies had been quite active and healthy up to that time, so I concluded that the plant had been sprayed. For the next week I gave the plant a good spray with the hose each day, and then placed the plant back in the b/house. No further problems, so be aware. By all means purchase plants but for later use, I would stick with the artificial nectar and flowering plants you have for now. The Lesser Wanderer is not a fruit feeder so I would not experiment too much with them and tend to keep conservative, pineapple may be too acidic. You appear to be providing for all their needs so it may be just time is needed. Also it could be a good idea to invest in a thermometer, I bought several from the garden section at Bunnings, less than $5 each and found them reliable and handy, and place them in or near the castles/cages and hanging in the b/house. There is a more expensive one available which records overnight minimum temperaturs and daytime maximum temps. which is also handy.

    #30293

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Thanks Anna.
    I have moved them to the kitchen window for the last few hours of sun and warmth. As they get the sun in the lounge by the ranch slider window until around 12.30pm – 1pm.

    I don’t get home until around 3.30pm and can then move them to the kitchen for the last few hours of sunlight.
    Hope this is enough for them.
    All windows and doors are closed to keep in maximum temps.. But it does chill off pretty quick after 3pm;-(

    We have 5 boys and 3 girls. So fingers crossed we get them to pair up..

    Norm is it OK to feed them feijoa, pineapple or orange?.

    I have made up a new fresh batch of artificial nectar and put soya sauce in. The males had a good feed on this and then fluttered around.

    As there is not much lantana and heliotrope left in flower at present. I hope to get to the garden centre tomorrow and see if they have some Heliotrope in flower for me to buy.

    #30291

    Anna
    Participant

    …and Charlotte…(Check with Norm first praps) but the butterflies may like to feed on a slice of pineapple or feijoa, or orange…as well as the nectar.

    #30284

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Could be an idea to think about Anna;-)

    Thanks for the info Norm. I need to go and buy more Heliotrope potted plants. I will make up a fresh batch of artificial nectar and put some soya sauce in. I thought about doing this but then thought I will wait to see what Norm says;-)

    Placing them in the sun in the afternoon is going to be a bit difficult I think, as we don’t have a big window around the back area. I need to check things out with Allan and see what we can come up with.

    I have the castle in the lounge by the ranchsliders. This is where the morning sun comes in and keeps the area very warm.
    I may need to move them to the kitchen area. lol.. This will be a challenge;-)

    It is so cold up here at the moment and I am getting worried about them;-(
    I make sure they feed each day, even if it is just a little bit.

    #30283

    NormTwigge
    Participant

    I looked back on my recorded data and found the lowest temperature for a pairing was at 22 C. with all being in the afternoon. So I think the temperature needs to be above 20 C. to be successful, but they will probably take their time as some of my previous generation did. Just make sure there is plenty of nectar available for them, Lantana and Heliotrope are good nectar flowers, said to contain the necessary chemicals to develop the males spermatophore with this species.
    Otherwise feed the males with an artificial nectar containing soya sauce which will do the same. If they are in a castle indoors try to aim for a spot that gets the sun in the afternoon.

    #30280

    Anna
    Participant

    I wonder if one of those aquarium set ups like there was for Christchurch would provide warmth and light to help these get through winter?

    #30274

    Charlotte
    Participant

    Excellent news Norm.

    The Lw’s you sent us we have had a half and half success rate.

    We can only hope that the LW’s which eclosed (5 males and 2 females)last Wednesday will soon pair up. As the temps have dropped quite a bit up here in Auckland for them. I do not want to loose these precious butterflies now.

    I think we are going to have to make things a lot warmer then to succeed Norm?

Viewing 25 replies - 51 through 75 (of 192 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.